NaCSA HQ, 14-16 Charlotte Street, Freetown. 15th September, 2022
The National Commission for Social Action had concluded the payment of preparatory grants to SAGs in the Western Rural and Urban districts. A total of Le1.5 billion old news is estimated to have been provided to Four Hundred (400) groups. It is worthy to note each of the group comprises officially twenty (20) women across 13 districts in the country.
This intervention is part of the Sierra Leone Community Driven Development Project (SLCDDP) – GIENTRINK funded by the Government of Sierra Leone and the Islamic Development Bank. Considering that the project emphasizes on livelihood, micro and small enterprises, the growth and sustainability of SAGs remains critical. It seeks to develop and strengthen community organizations thus building their social capital and enhancing opportunities for livelihood creations for communities. This will not only promote common economic activities, but will also make them self-reliant and resilient to risks that can affect community livelihoods.
Two Hundred and Thirty (230) groups were to be paid but only Two Hundred and Sixteen (216) groups were receiving their grants. This is due to failure to support meeting minimum standards.
Speaking at the ceremony held at NaCSA Headquarters in Freetown, Thursday, 15 September, 2023, the Commissioner of NaCSA, Dr. Sao- Kapto Hannah Isata Max-Kyne, called on the beneficiary groups to continue their usual weekly meetings, self individual contributions, internal landings and banking with their various community banks. Commissioner Max-Kyne reiterated the government's commitment in reducing poverty through a ‘community centered’ approach. ‘’ …let me remind us that the purpose of the grant is to undertake income generating activities, embark on group internal lending activities and cover the cost of transportation for withdrawal and deposit purposes. The Commission has demonstrated the highest level of transparency. Certainly, there are expected responsibilities of SAGs members and such include; hold weekly meetings, commit to weekly contributions and repay loans as they fall due’’ She noted.
The Micro Finance Officer – Tamba Jumu called on beneficiaries to improve their savings and work as a group having in mind that the essence is to increase access to finance. ‘’SAGs are homogeneous groups of persons with common earning power, like-minds and the will to improve their lives and by extension participate in the development of their communities. This will further help to increase cash at hand and we have heard testimonies of how SAGs have resuscitated businesses and the life of individuals.’’ He ended.
Programme Manager SLCDD II, Momoh Juanah informed the gathering that this will not be the last support from the project to these SAG Group, but government is working very hard to see the kick start of the Matching Grant which will benefit them in a much bigger fashion.
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